A New Dark Age

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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  1. One of our most serious problems is not that too few people vote, but that too many vote.

  2. Keeping the masses ignorant; rendering them incapable of critical thought through infusing into them large doses of emotion-laden propaganda; and keeping them constantly distracted through a barrage of endless entertainments, new techno-gadgets and high-caffeine energy drinks — this is the key to a passive, compliant, spaced-out populace that will unquestioningly follow the ruling class, no matter how unscrupulous. With some bright exceptions, our cultural and educational institutions have succeeded in producing an entire generation largely ignorant, propagandized, entertainment-obsessed, techno-addicted and caffeine-addicted young people completely devoid of the intellectual, moral and spiritual tools necessary to resist being manipulated by some charismatic “great leader.”

  3. Sad and scary. I’ve seen too much of this over the years. Can anyone say the decline and fall of Rome? It didn’t end well. The church triumphant survives and continues (Amen!), but the surrounding circumstances are sad nonetheless…

  4. Mindless students, but then again, what difference does it make? I know who both of my senators are, but my mail ranting against obamacare goes all but ignored anyhow, so what’s the difference? The only people who need to know their senators are CEOs of big pharma companies because they’re the only ones who can buy what they want.

  5. And this is the grade inflated generation. I’ll bet most of them have “A” averages. They don’t find their lack of knowledge embarrassing, but rather humorous.

    Similar experiment: Go to a medium to large sized church sometime and see how many people can name one of the elders.

  6. An unrelated question: are Reformed Baptists reformed? I heard from someone that you would say not…
    Thank you,
    A Reformed Baptist friend 🙂

    • Dear RB,

      1. Check the comment policy that appeared on your screen as you were posting. No anonymous comments please.

      2. No. I’ve discussed this in Recovering the Reformed Confession. See also these posts. The historic designation was “Particular Baptists” as distinct from the General Baptists. There were no “Reformed Baptists” in 1644 or 1689. It’s a very novel designation that relies on a significant redefinition of the adjective “Reformed” by removing the hermeneutic, the covenant theology, and the ecclesiology of the Reformed churches.

  7. Well, no surprise here. You can get a good laugh out of this with bits like Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News”, but at the same time you have a sinking feeling that these people make up the bulk of the population.

  8. And the church growth experts tell us that we must over-haul the church to make it relevant to such folks. Really? It seems that they are the ones who are irrelevant, particularly when it comes to the things that matter.

  9. They knew all of the pop culture questions, and none of the political ones. Really? An American-Idolized culture serves both the left and right well.

  10. Is ignorance of politics all that bad, or all that new? I would like to see some statistics that give information of previous generations. I understand the frustration if people are politically involved and simultaneously ignorant of the politicians and issues involved; but if people don’t vote, is it really so horrible?

    I am one that has moved more and more away from voting or staying on top of political issues. It seems everyone even a bit involved is an expert on economics, US history, philosophy, law, climate change, etc. I am too busy with my own duties to sort out all the information and analyze it, and I feel used by not only politicians, but by Christians attempting to get people like me involved in politics. I am fed up with it. The right and left have their respective Kardashian celebrity politicians; people who have not done their own significant work and can demonstrate competence. Being a good speaker seems to be a more useful thing than experience or a well reasoned argument. I don’t claim to be in the middle, and I don’t wish to be solicited any longer for voting.

    • Alberto,

      We, who live in the USA, live in a Republic which depends upon an informed, intelligent citizenry. Yes, opting out of politics is an lost-established American privilege. I suspect that, before the late 19th century, many Americans agreed with the sentiments that you express. It was one thing, however, to “opt out” of public life prior to FDR. Now, after FDR, after the vast expansion of the federal government, after the intrusion by government into every nook and cranny of private life, we no longer have a real option of being willfully ignorant or else we will no longer be free. I’m not making a partisan appeal here but rather an American, constitutional appeal. If Americans “check out” they will be boxed out, as it were, and find themselves wishing that they had paid attention while it still mattered.

  11. RB,

    You should call yourself a Calvinistic Baptist instead of Reformed Baptist, as I’ve heard DG Hart state.

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